Demands for air fryers have rocketed by 3,000% as customers seek to save on their energy costs, research suggests.
They have been growing in popularity in recent years as they can offer similar results to deep-fat frying without the need for large amounts of hot unhealthy oil.
But demand for the kitchen gadget has soared in recent months as they have been found to be significantly more cost-effective in terms of energy use than a standard oven.
Research by Utilita found that air fryers run at an average cost of £55.71 a year, while an electric cooker runs at £335.57 a year.
Another study by Hometree in September found that while an oven with an average wattage of 3kW costs about 34p to run for 20 minutes, a 1kW air fryer would cost 10p.
The appliances have a heating element on the top with a large fan to distribute the heat, meaning that they do not need much time to pre-heat and the food cooks quickly and evenly.
Air fryers sell from about £60, but more expensive ones can cost more than £200.
The top-selling air fryers have risen in popularity by more than 3,000% since this time last year and are up 2,000% since the summer, price comparison website PriceRunner said.
Sales of the most popular air fryer on the site, the Ninja AF400UK, have risen by more than 22,000% since October last year.
PriceRunner consumer spokeswoman Evelina Galli said: "Air fryers, as we know, are massively popular right now and our data backs this up, with the most popular models on our website seeing more than significant increases since this summer alone – up 7,000% on some models – although we actually started seeing an uprising in air fryers back in 2020/2021 when they were all the rage on TikTok."
People have shared images on Twitter of long virtual queues to even get to the order screen for some air fryers.
User Kien Tan posted a picture of being 175,104th in the queue for an air fryer on sale from Aldi.
The supermarket apologised to him and said they had now sold out of the product.
Iceland recently launched The Big Cooker Switch Off Challenge, encouraging customers to switch off their ovens for a week and use more energy-efficient appliances such as air fryers, microwaves and slow cookers instead.
It followed a survey by the supermarket that found more than half of Britons (53%) planned to either reduce the number of hot dinners they eat or cut them out completely.
Its own research suggested that households could save up to £426 per year by switching to more energy-efficient cooking appliances.
The supermarket’s line of air fryers sold out in less than a week last month.
Kitchen retailer Lakeland also said it had seen unprecedented demand for its range of air fryers, with more stock expected later this year.
It reported more than 1,500 views of the Lakeland Digital Crisp Air Fryer in 24 hours alone.
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